Food Safety Issues/Raw chuck roast

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Question
Hi,  I left out a packaged chuck roast on my counter overnight.  In the morning I found it, it was still cool to the touch.  My kitchen was probably in the 60's overnight.  I  rinsed it and put it in my crock pot on high for all day.  The meat looked and smelled fine, but I don't want to make anyone ill.  This would be served to all adults....because I made it hot..with jalapenos.  Is it better that it was a solid piece of meat..not ground?  What do you think?

Answer
Hi Elaine,

The recommendation is to not cook and consume foods that require time and temperature control for them to remain safe to consume. Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, etc all fall into this category and to remain safe to consume these foods should not be in the "Danger Zone" -- 41 to 135 degrees F -- for more than 4 hours.  If they are at room temperature overnight, they are definitely within the Danger Zone for more than 4 hours.

The problem is you can't tell by sight, smell or taste if a food that has been temperature abused is still safe to cook and consume.  While any live bacteria that may be on on the meat would be killed by cooking temperature, some bacteria have the capability of producing a toxic waste that is not destroyed by cooking.  Thus cooking a food that has been temperature abused is not a 100% guarantee that is will be safe to consume.

And yes, a solid muscle piece of meat tends to have less harmful bacteria present than ground meats but any meat that has been in the Danger Zone overnight is capable of supporting the growth of harmful bacteria.

Until we have a way of testing meat that has been temperature abused to see if it is still safe to consume (and it won't be too long in the future before we are able to do this) the recommendation will be to not take a chance and pitch the meat.

Sorry...

Carol  

Food Safety Issues

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Carol Schlitt

Expertise

I can answer questions on home food safety, sanitation and home food preservation.

Experience

I am a former Extension educator, nutrition, wellness and food safety, having retired August 1, 2010. I am a food safety instructor for the Illinois Department of Public Health, a ServSafe Instructor/Proctor and have my own company, Safe & Savory Solutions, Inc - www.safeandsavorysolution.com

Organizations
National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (Past President and current Historian), St. Louis Culinary Society.

Education/Credentials
BS - University of Illinois MS - Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville

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